Ford is rolling out an upgraded version of its MyKey system in its vehicles, which will allow parents of driving-age kids to block saucy content from satellite radio -- channels such as Howard Stern, the Playboy Channel and RawDog Comedy.
MyKey, which was available on some Ford vehicles in 2010, allows parents to pre-set cars to limit speed, audio volume, satellite radio content and even make it difficult for them not to buckle seat belts. The system, for example, mutes the stereo if the seat-belt is not buckled.
The new MyKey will be standard on the Taurus and the Explorer next year, in addition to the Focus, on which it was standard in 2010, Ford says, and will be an option on other models.
MyKey allows parents to preset a top speed limit between 65 and 80 mph for the vehicle and prevents the driver from deactivating some safety technologies, such as traction control. The system was first launched on several Ford vehicles in summer 2009.
A Harris Interactive survey showed that about 50% of those who would consider buring MyKey also said they would allow their children to use the family vehicle more often if it were equipped with the new technology.
How does it work? When the MyKey is inserted into the ignition, the system reads the transponder chip in the key and immediately identifies the MyKey code.
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